RIPLEY, W.Va. — An employee of the Jackson County Health Department met with President Donald Trump and White House officials Wednesday to discuss issues associated with drug misuse in addition to the opioid epidemic.
Department director Amy Haskins visited the White House to recognize efforts that have received federal funding; the federal government has dealt $92 million to establish substance abuse prevention coalitions in every state.
“We use it to pay for a very, very small staff,” she said. “We also use it for our youth coalition and adults to get trained how to identify what exactly the problem is and how to identify the root problems.”
Haskins, who also works with the Jackson County Anti-Drug Coalition, represented West Virginia, which she called an honor.
“Regardless of your political belief, being able to walk in to the West Wing and sit down in the Roosevelt Room and have a discussion with President Trump, Chief of Staff (John Kelly), all of the press that was in the room, it was certainly an event not to be forgotten,” she said.
Haskins said there was an interest in the issue and providing care for people with addiction.
“I truly believe that whoever is sitting in the White House as president has a true interest in trying to fix this problem because it truly pulls at the heartstrings of every person,” she added. “You don’t want to see anybody suffer.”
Friday is Overdose Awareness Day; Haskins said it is important for people to understand the symptoms of an overdose.
MetroNews affiliate WMOV Radio in Ravenswood contributed to this report.